Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Making of www.pazzaria.com

Pazzaria Productions header, logo, Apovil, dragon, website header

By Daniel L Rappaport

When I set out to find a great platform for our website, I wanted to choose something that was simple to use, easy to manage, looked amazing, and was great for the user.


Post is for social media. Video is for video creation and Page is for website design.

This suite is designed specifically for the small business owner, who, maybe, wouldn’t be able to afford a design team to create their marketing materials.

At Pazzaria Productions, we are also, always, looking for ways to innovate, to create material that we find really interesting, and perhaps something that the competition isn’t quite thinking of.

With Page, I  was able to create these really awesome animations, that move as you scroll down the website. I have used this to great effect, when showcasing the full, touch screen animations that are present in The Legend of the Lost Rose iBook (coming soon). For about the past month, once a week, I have debuted a different animation, from a different chapter.

Page also allows you to be incredibly organized. With these modules called “glideshows”, I am able to break up the website, in a meaningful way, to showcase this blog, our online shop, as well as “coming soon” products.

Another really amazing thing about the software is that whatever you create, it is immediately responsive. This means that in one shot, your website is ready for desktop, smartphone and tablet. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t test on all three platforms. You need to. But, if an adjustment needs to be made, you do so once. Not three or four times.

For color and design, for the top of the page, the logo and fantasy style background serve as a wonderful cover, that immediately sets the tone of the site. As you scroll through, I came up with this green, sparkly background that I am really loving.

At the very bottom of the site, I feature contact information, as well as links to social media and Creative Commons protection.

While it doesn’t give you a whole lot of analytics, you can know what your hit count is. Within about a month, I have over 17,000 hits. People really seem to love it, and are getting a lot out of it.

If you want to put up a website very quickly, have something that is easy to maneuver, has some awesome animation features, and looks gorgeous, I highly recommend using Adobe Spark Page. 

Oh yes. Did I mention that it’s FREE?!

Happy creating!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Writing Process

man writing on Macintosh computer, coffee cup

by Daniel L Rappaport


How I Begin

When I set out to write a novel, I often like to begin with the sense of what the entire world is going to be like, in my head. I wouldn’t have every single detail worked out, from the get go. 

I often begin with what kinds of characters that will be in the work.  While I am setting up the world, and what is going on in that world, I like to leave the title until I have a better grasp on what is going on.

After writing about the first there to six chapters, the title will come to me. It is perfectly okay to change the title, should you feel the need, as you are completing the work.


Getting Into Character...


For the names of the characters, I will sometimes combine two concepts Into one. As an example, for the Apovil, that name is a cross between the word “evil” and the Egyptian snake demon god “Apophis”.

Characterizations then just come from the name, and at that point, art starts to form. I like to bring on an artist to create scenery, characters, etc… It really helps to define the world. When creating art, I like to give my artists simple descriptions, without too much detail. I find that I like to see what is inside the head of the artist, a lot of times. If I have a batch of art that is already done, I will sometimes present it to another artist, so that they can get a visual reference for new art.

As I am moving forward, and developing the character arcs, I am also thinking about what kinds of adventures are to happen. I do think about what I have seen and read in other works. A lot of inspiration comes from literature, film and theme parks.


Direct Yourself...


It is also, often said to begin with the end in mind. This way, you have a sense of direction, and the plot can “write itself”. Sometimes this can work, and sometimes not. I believe that it is a great idea to have a concept of what the end might be like. Don’t set it in stone if it should change.

I think that the element of a relationship and/or love story of some kind is very important. You really should have an emotional context to make your characters more realistic.

Also, if you introduce a religious backbone for your world, it will add another layer of depth. For The Legend of the Lost Rose, this happens to be Wicca. This is a direct springboard that explains how the magick is accomplished, when it needs to be rendered.

For the number of chapters to create, I like to cut it off at twenty. Anything less feels to short anything more feels to long, especially for my target audience.


Edit Away!

In terms of editing, if you are a master at formatting and grammar, I definitely wouldn’t spend the time and money on an editor. May successful authors edit the work themselves. As well, if you feel very strongly about the creative content, I would’ve have anyone touch it. Should you feel that you need assistance in these areas, by all means, seek it.


iBooks Rules


For publishing The Legend of the Lost Rose, and The Toy Maker, I have chosen to go exclusively with Apple. This means that I am creating in iBooks Author, and self publishing with iTunes. I do have animation, and that is done in Keynote. Any video that I create could be done in a variety of programs.

Why?

The technology. I can create a far more immersive experience with Apple than anything that Amazon is currently offering. As well, especially for The Toy Maker, I would be using the software in a cutting edge way, that other people have not thought of.

Therefore, I am creating another point that I think is extremely important. That is one of innovation and market differentiation.

To create must read fiction, I believe that it is absolutely key that you don’t write just another fantasy novel (or whatever your genre is). Find some technical/artistic/immersive, etc.. way (or whatever it is) to do what nobody else out there is.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Current Production Thrust...

The Legend of the Lost Rose Book Cover

By Daniel L Rappaport

The Pazzaria Productions mission statement:
Everything that a guest would see, eat, buy, touch, do, wear, etc..., all has to do with their own personal adventure within our world.

So, how do we go about doing that?

The Legend of the Lost Rose iBook is currently in production. You can see a trailer for it here.

Utilizing this project, I would really love to answer this question.

The story is about a small frog named Spark, who just happens to have a pair of fairy wings, so that he can fly. Spark does not know magic. Rather, he is a brilliant, multi-talented artist. He is quite successful, with many gallery showings. However, the world comes to him, instead of the other way around.

He likes to just stay in his small home of a hole in the ground, and make work.

His planet, called Light, is dying. People aren't sure if it's because of a gigantic rose's roots, that stretch all the way around the planet, are losing their life force, or, if it's because of the huge, scary, dragon-like Apovil creature, crashing through towns, and causing extreme destruction.

Little does humble Spark know, he is a very important link to saving Light!

In addition to our heartwarming story, we are engaging our guests in new and different ways.

One way, here, is that within each chapter, we have a piece of merchandise, that is directly integrated into the story, and might just move your own personal adventure forward!


This is all currently in production, and we will be announcing its release very soon, so stay tuned!

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